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Jesus the Game Changer: Care

Lugarno Peakhurst Uniting Church http://lpuc.org.au

 Bible Readings  Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 25:31-46 

(An excerpt from the sermon outline on the topic: Care) Today, there are few people that say that there should be no care and no mercy to those in need.  It is an assumed value of our culture that we should care.  The discussion is on how much, and how.  That was not the case in Jesus’ time, as care for the desperate and destitute was not a cultural assumption.

The teachings of Jesus and the actions of the early church in following the values of Jesus, changed the way compassion was thought about and acted on in the Greco Roman world.  The Australian ancient historian E A Judge, noted that classical philosophers of Jesus’ time regarded mercy and pity as defects of character that were to be avoided by all rational people.  It seems that they taught that humans should resist the impulse towards mercy.  Therefore, for the undeserving, the call for help should be ignored and go unanswered. 

n Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus tells a parable about the end of the world when all the people of the world stand before the King and he separates the sheep from the goats.  The King will welcome the righteous with these words, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” The puzzled righteous will ask, “when did we do this?” “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Lawrie.